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Consequences of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill discussed

By Staff Correspondent
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DIBRUGARH, March 9 - A nagarik sabha (citizens� meeting) held on the theme �Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 and Future of Assam� under the aegis of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) at the Laxminath Bezbaruah Bhawan here today collectively resolved that AGP will quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the event of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

The meeting was presided over by Punakan Barua, district AGP president. Former Union Minister and AGP general secretary Birendra Prasad Baishya, Deputy Registrar of Dibrugarh University Parmananda Sonowal, faculty member of the Department of Assamese, Dibrugarh University Dr Satyakam Borthakur, and journalist Sarat Neog were in attendance, among other intellectuals and organisation leaders.

The AGP had convened the district-level nagarik sabha to consult the intellectuals, organisation leaders and party workers on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 and also to spell out their stand on the matter.

Former AGP MP Birendra Prasad Baishya in his speech said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 was unconstitutional and against the AGP�s ideology. We are going to oppose it at all cost. We cannot allow foreign Hindu Bangladeshis in our State because we will soon become minority and all our cultures and language will perish. The Bill is a threat. If the BJP goes ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, we will be left with no option but quit NDA,� said the AGP leader.

Dr Chandan Sharma, faculty member of the Department of History, Dibrugarh University was the key speaker. Dr Sharma described the �Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016� as a destructive instrument, which if passed; could destroy the State. �The Bill has the potential to disintegrate the State, cause far-reaching damage to the language, culture and literature of the State and destroy the secular fabric of the country. The Congress reaped rich political harvest for years through the erstwhile IM(DT) Act and now the BJP is applying a similar trick by bringing about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. It is politically motivated and is going to help neither the State nor the country,� said Dr Sharma.

Dr Satyakam Borthakur also said that the AGP must act like Andhra Pradesh�s Telugu Desam Party, who quit NDA because their demand for special category was not fulfilled. �If Telugu Desam Party can sacrifice for their State�s interest, why not the AGP for Assam,� he questioned.

However, that the AGP is in no hurry to show its real earnest over the controversial Citizenship Bill was felt here once again, as only veiled threats were spelt out, without any sign of seriousness.

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Consequences of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill discussed

DIBRUGARH, March 9 - A nagarik sabha (citizens� meeting) held on the theme �Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 and Future of Assam� under the aegis of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) at the Laxminath Bezbaruah Bhawan here today collectively resolved that AGP will quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the event of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

The meeting was presided over by Punakan Barua, district AGP president. Former Union Minister and AGP general secretary Birendra Prasad Baishya, Deputy Registrar of Dibrugarh University Parmananda Sonowal, faculty member of the Department of Assamese, Dibrugarh University Dr Satyakam Borthakur, and journalist Sarat Neog were in attendance, among other intellectuals and organisation leaders.

The AGP had convened the district-level nagarik sabha to consult the intellectuals, organisation leaders and party workers on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 and also to spell out their stand on the matter.

Former AGP MP Birendra Prasad Baishya in his speech said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 was unconstitutional and against the AGP�s ideology. We are going to oppose it at all cost. We cannot allow foreign Hindu Bangladeshis in our State because we will soon become minority and all our cultures and language will perish. The Bill is a threat. If the BJP goes ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, we will be left with no option but quit NDA,� said the AGP leader.

Dr Chandan Sharma, faculty member of the Department of History, Dibrugarh University was the key speaker. Dr Sharma described the �Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016� as a destructive instrument, which if passed; could destroy the State. �The Bill has the potential to disintegrate the State, cause far-reaching damage to the language, culture and literature of the State and destroy the secular fabric of the country. The Congress reaped rich political harvest for years through the erstwhile IM(DT) Act and now the BJP is applying a similar trick by bringing about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. It is politically motivated and is going to help neither the State nor the country,� said Dr Sharma.

Dr Satyakam Borthakur also said that the AGP must act like Andhra Pradesh�s Telugu Desam Party, who quit NDA because their demand for special category was not fulfilled. �If Telugu Desam Party can sacrifice for their State�s interest, why not the AGP for Assam,� he questioned.

However, that the AGP is in no hurry to show its real earnest over the controversial Citizenship Bill was felt here once again, as only veiled threats were spelt out, without any sign of seriousness.